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INDUSTRIAL tfjLA' 
SECTION 




32101 060365903 



JAN 3 1942 



WE HAVE A STAKE 
IN THIS WAR? 



Address To Organized Labor 

By 

ALFRED BAKER LEWIS 



TRADE UNION DIVISION 
COMMITTEE TO DEFEND AMERICA 
BY AIDING THE ALLIES 



8 West 40th Street :: New Yorl, N. Y. 



DO WE HAVE A STAKE IN THIS WAR? 



J. HE overwhelming majority of American people hate 
Hitlerism and want to see the unholy combination of the 
two brutal dictators, Hitler and Mussolini, defeated. To 
accomplish that end most people favor all possible aid 
short of war to the united British people in their heroic 
fight against Hitler's aggression. Yet this policy has been 
attacked by a few sincere pacifists, by the Communists 
and Nazi supporters. The former would not fight any war 
even if Hitler invaded this country, and the other two 
groups, the Communists and Nazis, want to see Hitler win. 

All three of these groups would not be of much im- 
portance, except that a great many unthinking people 
are instinctively "isolationists"; that is, they somehow 
believe that no matter what wars rage in other parts of 
the world, and no matter what happens to the ideals of 
freedom and to labor rights, and no matter how success- 
fully the poisonous doctrine of master races and slave 
races is spread by force of arms elsewhere, we here in 
America have nothing to worry about and should not 
concern ourselves with foreign policies. These "isola- 
tionists" unfortunately include several very vociferous 
Senators and some influential people like Henry Ford 
and Lindbergh who have received honorary decorations 
from Hitler. 

It is to deal with these questions, to clarify the thinking 
of the American people upon the issues involved in the 
war, and upon the proper foreign policy for us to adopt, 
which is the purpose behind this pamhlet. 



DO WE HAVE A STAKE IN THIS WAR? 



The fact is that the issues in this war are far different 
from those in 1914 or 1917. The Kaiser could not have 
arrested anyone merely because he wished it. But Hitler 
can under German law, for the principle of that law is that 
the "Fuehrer", or leader, can do no wrong. The Kaiser 
could not prevent the exercise of the right to vote or appeals 
to the electorate by many different parties, each with its 
own press and speakers. But Hitler does, and his announced 
intention is the complete destruction of democracy forever 
— first in Germany, then in Europe and finally throughout 
the world. Nor did the Kaiser make a distinction in law 
between his subjects on the basis of their race, or attack 
the religion of those who would not submit to complete 
domination of their religious institutions by the state. But 
Hitler has done and is doing just that.. The Kaiser did not 




PREFACE 




1939 IS NOT 1917 



3 1# i 



2 



suppress rigidly all independent working class organiza- 
tions, political parties, or trade unions. But this is one of 
the first things that Hitler does in every country where he 
is able to seize power. Trade unionism is completely wiped 
out both by Hitler and his junior partner, Mussolini. 

What the Victory of Hitlerism Would Mean 

Consequently many of those who opposed the war in 
1917 are today urging full support to England in her fight 
against Hitler and Hitlerism. Support of this policy of giving 
full aid short of war to the British people is completely 
in accordance with the purpose of preserving political 
democracy and achieving industrial democracy, which is 
held in common not merely by trade unionists, but by 
all sincere liberals and progressives and all genuine lovers 
of democracy. 

Hitler and Hitlerism mean the complete destruction of all 
civil liberties, including the right to vote after free discus- 
sion and the presentation of varying points of view. If 
Hitler wins, this destruction of civil rights will be more 
widespread; if he loses, such civil rights will be restored in 
those countries which he now controls. 

Hitler and Hitlerism mean mass assassination of the 
Jews in all the lands under his control. The Nazis last 
winter after conquering Poland deliberately drove large 
numbers of lews, practically without money and with only 
a suitcase full of clothing, into a Jewish reservation in a 
small part of Poland, in the coldest weather in Europe for 
a half a century, without tools or machinery to work with, 
often without houses to live in, and without seed or fer- 
tilizer to plant crops, hoping and expecting that they would 
quickly freeze and slowly starve to death, thus solving the 
Jewish problem in the way in which Hitler advocated that 
it should be solved. 

All this is justified by spreading the poisonous doctrine 
of racial inferiority and superiority. According to this 
doctrine, Germans are a master race and all the others 
are slave races, some of which, like the Jews, should be 
exterminated, others like the Poles or French should merely 
be enslaved. As for the colored people, Hitler refers to 
them as half apes and proposes to deny to them all oppor- 
tunities for any higher education. Needless to say, such 
doctrines are completely destructive of the brotherhood of 
the human race which churches of every denomination 
preach. If Hitler wins, anti-Semitism and the vile doctrine 
of slave races and master races will be spread throughout 
the lands where he has sway without any opportunity to 
answer it. If Hitler loses, the chance to give the lie to such 
ideas will be restored in parfs of the world where to do so 
now involves the risk of imprisonment, torture and death. 

Hitler and Hitlerism seek to destroy all working class 
organizations, including the trade unions. If Hitler wins, 
trade unions will be destroyed completely in all those 
parts of Europe, including England, if his victory is 
sufficiently complete, where his power reaches. If Hitler 
loses, trade unionism will not be destroyed in the Allied 

(RECAP) 



A 



countries; on the contrary, it will have a chance again to 
enjoy a legal existence in the parts of Europe which now 
groan under Hitler's rule. 

What happens to trade unionism under Hitler and under 
the democracies can be seen from the fact that in England, 
for example/ there was a general strike against the 
government in 1924 which was defeated. No one was 
killed, and the leaders of the striking unions were not 
even arrested. The unions continued to exist and function 
without government interference. A general strike in 
Germany, if defeated, would result in thousands being 
executed, and the ruthless stamping out of all labor organi- 
zations. This difference is vital to the very existence of the 
labor movement. 

Hitlerism means the enthronement of the Fuehrer prin- 
ciple, according to which the dictator can do no wrong, 
and conversely all who criticize or oppose him are doing 
wrong. Hitler has carried this principle so far that he is 
guilty of the personal murder of at least one of his opponents 
during the infamous blood purge of June 30, 1934. Nothing 
like that can be charged against Prime Minister Churchill 
nor the Premiers of any of the small nations which Hitler 
is gobbling up. Unless we want to see more of Europe 
ruled by a murderer, justifying his murders by appeal to 
the principle that the leader can do no wrong, we must 
give economic aid to the countries fighting Fascism. 

This Fuehrer principle is carried down to the manage- 
ment of factories and business establishments. The factory 
owner or manager is the dictator, subject only to orders 
from the dictatorial government; and the workers have no 
rights whatever. All they can do is to obey. 

Finally, Hitlerism means the complete monopolistic con- 
trol over literally all the avenues and sources of public 
opinion by people who believe in and practice this hateful 
principle of government by dictators. 

We who enjoy the opportunity to correct the excesses 
and abuses of our government by the free exercise of our 
democratic rights, find it difficult to imagine what vicious- 
ness and degradation might be in the thoughts and beliefs 

of people subjected for a generation or more to effective 
control over every source of public opinion by convinced 
believers in Fascist principles. 

Germany has been subject to such monopolistic control 
over public opinion for less than eight years. Yet already 
nearly all her young people believe that democratic weak- 
ness plus the Jews was responsible for Germany's defeat 
in 1918, and most of them believe that Jews are sexual 
degenerates. This is the result of having such ideas cease- 
lessly dinned into their heads without anyone ever having 
any opportunity whatsoever to reply. 

We have seen little Jewish children, nine and ten years 
old, coming out of Hitlerland as refugees and crying their 
childish hearts out, not against the Nazi oppressor, but 
because they couldn't be Nazis, members of the glorious 
German "race". Totalitarian education could not drive 
the human spirit much lower than when it can succeed in 
making the perpetrator of injustice seem glorious in the eyes 
of the victims of injustice. 



4 



Russia, of course, has been subject to totalitarian and 
dictatorial control over all sources of public opinion for 
more than twenty years. There we have seen that 180,000,000 
people could be made to think, so far as they thought 
about the matter at all, that little Finland was about to 
invade them. 

Such examples of the universal acceptance of untruth 
as truth and vice versa, which can be accomplished by 
totalitarian control over education and opinion, may well 
give one the horrors. This is especially so when the 
nation whose ideas are thus distorted is a numerous and 
powerful one, trained to blind unquestioning obedience, 
possessed of unusual organizing ability, and equipped in 
high degree with all the weapons for dealing out death 
and destruction that modern scientific technique makes 
possible. 

To rebut all this, those who oppose effective aid to 
Britain insist that not all Englishmen are fighting for 
democracy. This is true of course. Some of them may 
be fighting for imperialist reasons. Some are fighting 
for security, some to keep their word to Poland and stop 
international aggression, such as the invasion of Denmark, 
Norway, Belgium, Luxemburg and Holland. Some are un- 
doubtedly fighting to preserve their democratic and labor 
rights, such as the right to form a union. Some anti-war 
writers, like Norman Angell, are fighting to secure peace 
m Europe which they feel can be obtained only by the* 
destruction of Hitlerism. 

Several million people in England are members of and 
vote for the Labour Party. Except for the Prime Minister, 
the Labour Party now has the most influential and impor- 
tant posts in the British Cabinet. The Labour Party has laid 
down its war aims very clearly. They say: 

1. The first principle is that there should be no 
dictated peace. We have no desire to humiliate, to 
crush or to divide the German nation. There must 
be restitution made to the victims of aggression, but 
all ideas of revenge and punishment must be ex- 
cluded. If peace is to be lasting it must result from the 
agreement of all not from the dictation of a few 
nations. The failure of the treaties at the end of the 
last war to bring abiding peace was largely due to 
the neglect of this principle. But if we desire to 
build a new world, its foundations must be laid not 
only by the large and strong, but by the small and 
less powerful. It is the function of law to prevent 
the strong abusing his strength at the expense of the 
weak. The smaller nations, just because they are not 
aggressive, bring to the councils of the nations a most 
valuable element. 

2. The second principle necessarily follows. It is 
the recognition of the right of all nations, great or 
small, of whatever color or creed, to have the right 
to live and to develop their own characteristic civili- 
zation, provided that they do not thereby infringe 
the rights of others. The German, relinquishing his 
conception of the primacy of the German race, must 
recognize that the Pole and the Czech and the Jew 
have as much right as he. no more and no less, to a 
place in the world and to a share in the bounty of 



5 



nature. Equally, the Briton must recognize that the 
same is true of the African or any other inhabitant of 

the British Empire. The German must concede to the 
Austrian the right to decide his own future. The 
Briton must equally concede the same right to the 
Indian. 

3. There must be a complete abandonment of ag- 
gression and of the use of armed force as an instru- 
ment of policy. War must be outlawed and the rule of 
law accepted. Where disputes cannot be amicably 
settled by negotiation, they must be submitted to the 
decisions of disinterested arbitrators and their de- 
cision accepted. 

4. There must be recognition of the rights of 
national, racial and religious minorities. While as 
far as possible every state should be left free to 
manage its internal affairs, there is a common inter- 
est in the prevention of oppression, and in the recog- 
nition of the rights of individuals. It may well be 
that later the principle of the recognition of the 
rights of the individual might be given still wider 
extension, and be firmly established as part of the 
law of nations. Here it is sufficient to lay down as 
a principle that where there are racial minorities in 
any state, there must be some effective authority 
by an international body over the sovereign rights 
of the individual state. 

5. There must be acceptance of the principle that 
international anarchy is incompatible with peace, 
and that in the common interest there must be recog- 
nition of an international authority superior to the 
individual states and endowed not only with rights 
over them, but with power to make them effective, 
operating not only in the political, but in the economic 
sphere. Europe must federate or perish. 

6. There must be abandonment of imperialism 
and acceptance of the principle that in the govern- 
ment of colonies and dependencies where self-gov- 
ernment cannot yet be conceded, the interests of the 
natives must be paramount, and that there must be 
equal access for all nations to markets and raw ma- 
terials. This can best be achieved by an extended and 
strengthened mandate system under international 
authority. We hold that the redistribution of colonial 
territories between rival imperialisms is no solution, 
for we do not admit that any nation has the right to 
hold others in subjection. 



All Workers and Lovers of Democracy 
Have a Stake in the War 

In the light of these facts it is undeniable that every 
genuine believer in economic and political democracy 
has a tremendous stake in the outcome of the war. That 
explains why German and Austrian trade unionists of all 
shades of opinion, the British Labour Party, and what is 
left of the labor parties all over Europe, are working and 
hoping for the defeat of Hitler and Hitlerism, and his "yes" 
man, Mussolini, 



6 



Effective Aid to England is the Best Way 
to Keep America Safe 

In the long run there can be no peace between those 
like Hitler, who mean to destroy democracy and the en- 
tire trade union movement, enthrone the dictator prin- 
ciple of government, and establish the Germans as a master 
race subject to no moral restraint in their enslavement 
of other people; and those who intend to maintain the 
American principles of democracy, civil liberties, and equal 
opportunities for all irrespective of race, creed, or color. 
In the long run one or the other of these two warring 
principles must be destroyed. 

Abraham Lincoln once truly said that this country could 
not live half-slave and half-free. The world is today a 
far smaller place than it was in Lincoln's day, because 
of the gigantic improvement in methods of communica- 
tion and transportation. Today it is true that the world 
cannot live half-slave, ruled under a Hitler dictatorship, 
and half-free, enjoying the rights of free speech, free press, 
free assemblage, the free exercise of religious rights and 
the freedom to organize. 

When Hitler conquered France he demanded that the 
French surrender their fleet. He promised, of course, 
that he would not use the fleet against England. But 
no one with any sense could believe in such a promise. 
He promised after he seized Austria and again after he 
took the Sudeten District of Czechoslovakia, that he would 
make no further territorial demands in Europe. And he 
has on several occasions promised not to seize or attack 
Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Holland and Luxemburg. So 
naturally no one believes his promises. Equally naturally 
England demanded that the French should either intern 
their fleet in the West Indies where Hitler could not get it, 
or give them to their former Allies, the English; and when 
some of the French naval commanders refused they pro- 
ceeded to sink the French vessels. 

If Hitler should succeed in defeating Great Britain, which 
he will be very likely to do if we do not provide more 
effective aid for her. he would demand the surrender 
of the British fleet and enforce that demand with threats 
of reprisals in the way of imprisonment and torture for 
the families of the sailors in the fleet if they did not 
surrender the vessels. When he got the British fleet, to 
add it to the Italian fleet and that part of the French 
fleet which has fallen into his hands, he would far out- 
number the American fleet even if the whole of our fleet 
were concentrated in the Atlantic. And of course we 
could not safely do that unless we intended to allow Japan 
to conquer the whole of China and the East Indies and 
then seize America's Pacific Islands, the Philippines, Wake. 
Guam, and Hawaii one by one. From Hawaii of course 
Japan could easily threaten the Panama Canal as well as 
our West Coast. 

With such naval power in Hitler's hands he could and 
would easily dominate South America. In fact, many of 
the South American countries would welcome him, or, 
more accurately, the members of their ruling class would 
do so. And from there the Nazis could and would grad- 
ually seize more and more air and naval bases in the 



/ 



West Indies and on the shores of the Caribbean Sea and 
the Gulf of Mexico. From such bases the Nazis could 
and would dominate America's coastline and all our over- 
seas commerce, and could force us to agree to practically 
anything they wanted. 

Almost certainly America would not submit to that type 
of domination without a struggle. We would build and 
build desperately airplanes, artillery and naval vessels 
against the armaments that the Nazis and Fascists on 
the one side and the Japanese totalitarian militarists on 
the other, were building. As the Nazis and Fascists would 
control the population and resources of practically all of 
Europe and Africa, and the Japanese would control the 
enormous man power and natural resources of China, 
plus all the East Indies and probably India as well, the 
race for armaments would in the long run be lost by us, 
and the Rome, Berlin and Tokyo dictators would be in a 
position to attack us with overwhelming force at what- 
ever time they thought held forth the greatest likelihood 
of success. 

During that desperate race for armaments we would 
sacrifice the use of more and more of our natural resources, 
capital equipment and labor power to the production of 
war material rather than the production of things useful 
for human welfare. And as the race for armaments be- 
came more urgent, and the menace of dictatorial invasion 
and conquest loomed steadily greater, we would inevitably 
sacrifice more and more, not merely of labor standards 
and welfare legislation, but of civil liberties as well. As 
a matter of fact this process has already begun. Apart 
from and long before actual warfare, we would have a 
war economy and would lose many of our civil rights. 
Those who wished to appease the dictators would prob- 
ably blame our own government rather than the dictators, 
just as the appeasers and Pacifists are now blaming 
Roosevelt, instead of the power and the danger of 
Hitlerism, for our present program for adequate military 
and naval and aircraft armament. No one who studies 
and reflects on the situation can reasonably doubt that 
this would be the course of events if the Nazis can beat 
down British resistance. The best, indeed the only way, 
to keep America safe and preserve intact our democratic 
principles is to furnish enough effective aid to Britain 
to enable her to beat back the Nazi hordes. For if England 
goes under we will suffer loss of liberty and severe re- 
duction in our standard of living in the effort to arm 
against the dictators, and in the long run will have to 
fight singlehanded a league of dictatorships which would 
have at their disposal far greater economic power than 
ours. 



Is It An Imperialist War? 
Why the Communists Say It is 

Unfortunately for our country and for our democratic 
freedom there are people who argue that we should not 
extend effective aid to England because they claim this 
is an imperialistic war on both sides. Some of those who 
use this argument are sincere, but they are in very bad 



8 



company. For the most vociferous opponents oi effective 
aid short of war to the British people from our country 
are the Communists, who follow the lead of Molotov 
and Stalin in opposing any aid to the "French and 
British imperialists." Their reason for taking such a stand, 
which is in direct contradiction to their policy before 
August 23, 1939, is that they want the Nazis to win 
the war. 

The Hitler-Stalin non-aggression pact made in August 
1939 was soon followed by an economic alliance accord- 
ing to which Russia agreed to furnish Germany with 
raw materials to be paid for by manufactured products 
from Germany "to be delivered over an extended period 
of time." In capitalist phraseology, Russia thereby agreed 
to furnish Germany with raw materials on credit. Thus 
Stalin will gradually acquire a larger and larger stake 
in the survival and victory of Hitler, for only in this 
way can he hope to get the manufactured goods which 
constitute the deferred payment for the raw materials 
for war which Russia has agreed to provide for her 
Nazi partner. In all probability, Russia will be unable to 
furnish any substantial amounts of raw material, both 
because she needs these raw materials for her own de- 
velopment, because of the woeful inadequacy of her trans- 
portation system, and because the heroic resistance of 
the Finns to the Soviet attempt to "liberate" them from 
a government of their own choosing, compelled her to 
use far more of her available war material than she 
expected to need. But the agreement as it stands makes 
Russia the unquestioned economic ally of Germany, it 
gives Stalin a stake in the success of Hitler, and it has 
accordingly caused the Communists throughout the world 
to oppose economic aid to the Allies in order to assure a 
Nazi victory. 

The Communists have become adept at protective col- 
oration, especially since the non-aggression pact and the 
subsequent economic agreements with Hitler have caused 
many of their former supporters to turn against them. 
They are in all sorts of innocent sounding movements 
and organizations for peace and democracy. No doubt 
there are well meaning and sincere pacifists and liberals 
among those who oppose economic aid to the Allies. But 
they have only themselves to thank, if they find themselves 
under suspicion of being tinged with the Communazi brand 
of totalitarianism, for their policy is the same in this respect 
as the policy advocated by the Communists and Nazis who 
want to see Hitler win. 



The Outcome, Not the Origin of the War, 
is the Issue for Us 

Actually, believers in political and industrial democracy 
have such a tremendous stake in the oufcome of the war, 
that it is comparatively unimportant whether or not the 
war in its origin is an imperialist one. In outcome, for 
example, the war is a war for trade unionism, for the 
preservation of political democracy, and for the destruction 
of the Fuehrer principle, and therefore it might be fully 



9 



admitted that the war was imperialist in origin, and yet it 
would not change the importance for the workers and 
common people throughout the world of securing the defeat 
of Hitler and Hitlerism. 

But in point of fact the war is not merely an im- 
perialist one. When either Molotov or misguided Paci- 
fists make the statement that this is an imperialist war, 
they are dead wrong. It might be plausibly argued that 
Chamberlain and Daladier, who were the heads of the 
British and French governments at the outbreak of the 
war, were imperialists. But far from this being their 
war. Chamberlain and Daladier did everything in their 
power, in strict accordance with what they regarded as 
their imperialist interests, to keep out of war. They re- 
fused to put an embargo on war trade with Hitler until 
the very last. They endured breaches of the Versailles 
Treaty, sacrificed Spain, sacrificed Czechoslovakia, and 
sacrificed their national honor in order to keep out of 
war because that was to the interests of their capitalist 
and imperialist class. 

Chamberlain and Daladier sought peace at any price 
by their appeasement policy, which was strenuously op- 
posed by the British and French trade unionists, the British 
Labour Party and the French Socialists. And, in the exer- 
cise of their democratic rights by the representatives of 
the French and British people, both of them were re- 
placed. So far as England is concerned, the Chamberlain 
cabinet of appeasers was replaced by one in which the 
representatives of the British labor movement hold the 
most important posts. To call this war an imperialist one 
on their part is therefore absurd, and merely plays into 
the hands of Molotov and the lying propaganda of the 
Communazis. 

Far from this being an imperialist war, so far as Britain 
is concerned, it is almost the first war in history which 
the people forced upon a reluctant government rather than 
the government forcing it upon the people. 

Of course when we consider the other countries which 
have been the victims of Hitler's aggression, such as Nor- 
way, Belgium, Luxemburg, Holland, Denmark or Czecho- 
slovakia, the argument about this being an imperialist war 
becomes absurd. 

We Should Judge Different Imperialist 
Countries by their Relative Degrees of 
Ruthlessness and the Greater or Lesser 
Chances of Ending or Modifying 
their Imperialist Policies 

In Germany some Czechs dared to protest against Hitler's 
rule. They were taken out and shot, how many no one 
knows. Others were subjected to horrible tortures. In 
the British Empire the most dangerous enemy that British 
imperialism has had to face in our generation is Ghandi. 
Ghandi has practiced and again today threatens civil 
disobedience. He lives and moves about, speaks, organizes 
and agitates against British imperialism even in war-time, 
freely and without hindrance. 



10 



In Bombay, India, a strike of 150,000 workers has taken 
place during the war. Three people were arrested; almost 
a record for the preservation of democratic rights during 
industrial conflict. 

Under Hitlerism, Ghandi would long ago have been 
executed for far less opposition to Hitler, even in peace 
time, than the British government endures in war time 
without any interference. This fact shows how utterly in- 
accurate is the glib comment made by some misinformed 
people, that the objection to Hitlerism is due to the fact 
that Hitler merely treats white people the way the British 
Empire treats subject colored populations. The truth is that 

he treats all his opponents far worse. 

This right to agitate and organize freely, preserved in 
the British Empire and completely denied in Germany, is 
not due to British imperialists, but to the degree of political 
democracy which has been won, and even during war-time 
is being preserved, by the British working class. That right 
is vital to the abolition of imperialism. 

So far from there being a blackout of democracy in 
England, the reverse is true. People and Parliament freely 
and constantly criticize the government. So much is this 
true that they forced a change of government. 

Hitler, on the other hand, has brought Austria by force 
under his rule, has brought Czechoslovakia by force under 
his rule, and has now brought Poland, Denmark, Nor- 
way, Belgium, Luxemburg, Holland and France by force 
under his rule, and has announced his intention of bring- 
ing England by force under his rule. This is justified 
by the Nazis on the ground that the Germans are a master 
race and other nations are slave races. To show what is 
in store for all other nations. Hitler has reached out and 
ordered the Swedish government to drop its minister for 
foreign affairs, Richard Sandler, because he dared to op- 
pose Hitlerism vigorously, and the Swedes had to sub- 
mit. All this is not because individual Germans are bad; 
it is because they cannot protest against the iron rule of 
Hitlerism. 

The British Empire, on the other hand, conquered and 
subjected the Boers, but British democracy then set them 
free so that the Premier of South Africa today is the 
general who led the fight against the British Empire. The 
British Empire conquered the Irish, but British democracy 
set them free to such an extent that their Prime Minister 
is a man on whose head the British imperialists had set 
a price; and the Irish have so much freedom that they 
stay neutral when the British Empire goes to war. The 
British Empire conquered Egypt and has allowed it to 
be set up as an independent nation, and the same thing 
applies to Iraq. 

All this has happened in and to the British Empire, 
not because British imperialists are fine people. The reason 
is because Great Britain has political democracy which 
enables the domestic opponents of the British imperialists 
to force modifications of their policy. The difference be- 
tween increasingly widespread and increasingly brutal 
enslavement of their neighbors as practiced under Hitler- 
ism, and the gradual (far too gradual) process of freeing 
parts of their empire while freely permitting ceaseless 
agitation for more freedom in other parts, which char- 
acterizes the British Empire, is directly due to the differ- 



] I 



ences between Fascism and political democracy. That 
difference is vital to the welfare of mankind, the estab- 
lishment of genuine peace, and the eventual abolition of 
imperialism. 

Peace Now Would Be a Hitler Victory 

No peace based on a truce with Hitlerism, or short 
of the destruction of Hitlerism, is desirable. We who still 
enjoy freedom of the press, do not need to be told of 
Hitler s repeated making and breaking of promises, or 
of his announced determination to treat all other nations 
as slave races. Any peace with Hitler could not be more 
than a truce. We owe it to the heroic Austrian, Polish, 
Czech, Norwegian, Danish and even German workers and 
lovers of freedom, many of whom lost their lives or are 
still risking their lives in the fight against Hitlerism, to 
give economic aid to the Allies so that Hitlerism can be 
defeated and the United States kept out of war. 

Those- heroic Germans who are still working in the 
underground movement have repeatedly declared that 
they cannot successfully move to overthrow Hitlerism until 
Hitler's armies are defeated. That is the lesson of history. 
Governments, even though vicious and dictatorial, are 
overthrown by internal revolutions only when they are 
defeated in some foreign struggle. Napoleon, Louis 
Napoleon, the Czar, the Kaiser, the Emperor of Austria and 
the Sultan of Turkey, all bear witness to this historical 
truth. 

Before raising the demand for peace now before the 
overthrow of Hitler and Hitlerism, we must consider the 
implications of that demand. Hitler started the war in 
order to seize Danzig and the Polish Corridor. He had 
already successfully seized Czechoslovakia and Austria 
by threat of force. He actually has gotten by war prac- 
tically the whole of Poland, and his successful Blitzkrieg 
in Poland has very badly frightened all the neutrals border- 
ing on the expanded Reich. He has seized all of Norway, 
Denmark, Holland and Belgium. He has conquered the 
French and reduced them to a satellite nation compelled 
to do his bidding. In particular, he has stripped all these 
countries of food, so much so that many of their people 
will be compelled to starve in order to feed the German 
war machine. Unless by the peace terms he surrenders 
Poland, Danzig. Denmark, Belgium, Holland, Luxemburg, 
and Czechoslovakia, and all his other conquests, the peace 
will mean that armed aggression pays. The chance of 
getting peace or disarmament in a Europe or a world 
which has learned such a lesson would be small indeed. 
And the chance of getting Hitler to agree to surrender 
Poland and Czechoslovakia, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, 
Holland and France to democratic control by their own 
inhabitants before he is completely defeated is nil. To 
advocate peace before Hitlerism is overthrown, is to desert 
those heroic Germans who are still struggling against 
Hitler, as well as all the liberal and democratic groups 
in England and the whole of Europe. Peace now would 
postpone for a generation or longer any successful at- 
tempt to get rid of Fascism from inside Germany. And 
it would not postpone for more than a very few years 
further aggressive demands by Hitler on us as well as on 
the countries bordering on the expanded Germany. These 



12 



demands in turn would have to be either submitted to or 
resisted at the cost of still another war, to be started at 
Hitler's convenience. 



Getting A Just Peace 

Of course, while the victory of Hitler would certainly 
make the world a far worse place to live in, there is no 
assurance that the victory of the Allies would make the 
world a better place to live in. 

But statements from government supporters in England, 
even from very conservative people, indicate that they 
realize some of the errors made in the Versailles Treaty, 
so there is a strong likelihood that these errors will be 
avoided in the new treaty which would crown the victory 
over Hitlerism. This probability is greatly strengthened 
by the ceaseless and intelligent discussion of war aims 
which has been going on in England. 

Realization of the necessity for a just peace, of course, 
is not confined to labor circles in Great Britain. Even 
if labor is not in control of England at the end of the 
war, therefore, there are good grounds for hoping for a 
just peace. What is wanted by the sort of people in 
England who are conservative without being absurd, and 
who desire peace without too great a break with the social 
system of the past, may be gleaned from an article in "The 
Economist." The article reads: 



*The history of the last two decades has shown 
that there are only two consistent alternative policies 
to pursue towards the German problem. One is to 
parcel Germany into a number of small states, per- 
manently garrisoned by and subjected to the Allies. 
The other is to treat a Germany purged of the Nazis 
as an equal. The Versailles policy of humiliating and 
penalizing Germany without successfully holding her 
down runs the maximum risk of provoking a war 
every generation. In theory, we could, after victory, 
choose freely between the policies of repression and 
equality. In practice we should have neither the 
brutal resolution nor the moral indifference to pursue 
the policy of repression with the unyielding severity 
that would alone give it a chance of success. The 
policy of equality is really the only workable one. 
That being so, the peace terms must be formed with 
the deliberate object of creating a satisfied and con- 
tented Germany. Poland and Czechoslovakia must, 
of course, be restored. But it would be better for the 
future peace of Europe to leave Austria in the Reich, 
unless the most convincing proof were forthcoming 
that the Austrian population would prefer to get out, 
and stay out, of the Reich. It would also be necessary 
to be long-sighted in the matter of indemnities. 
There is, for example, the clearest case in equity for 
exacting reparation for the destruction of Warsaw. 
But it would probably pay the Allies better to pay 
for the reconstruction themselves than to inject the 
poison of reparations once more into the relations 
between Germany and her western neighbors. Simi- 
larly the principles of self-respect and equality must 
govern the problem of disarmament. Germany must 
not be expected to remain indefinitely in a state of 



13 



permanent inequality. If her disarmament precedes 
that of the Allies, it must be conditioned absolutely 
on their performance of their pledge. They must seek 
their safety in the more lasting guarantees of a real 
collective security." | 

What We C 

There are several important steps short of war which 
we can do to help the British people to win peace terms 
of this sort, (or better if the Labour Party's war aims are 
the basis for the final peace) compared with which the 
enslavement of Europe and eventually of the whole world 
under a Nazi dictatorship would be Hell indeed. 

In the first place, we have more destroyers than we 
need, far more than we need if England can win. England 
badly needs more destroyers, for only such small and 
speedy craft can operate with any degree of safety at 
all in the narrow waters of the English Channel. It is 
just there that they are badly needed for convoys of 
merchant ships and to interfere with the shipment of 
German troops to invade England. It is there that the 
German bombs and submarines have been able to take a 
heavy toll. We can and should sell to England at once more 
of our destroyers. 

We could modify the Neutrality Law so as to permit our 
ships to go to England with cargoes and escort these ships 
with our naval vessels. Shipping space is vitally needed 
to keep England supplied with food and war materials. 
Some of our Merchant sailors are unemployed. Many are 
strong anti-Nazis and would be glad, for a war bonus, to 

ship to Enqlish ports. 

We could ana should dovetail our rearmament program 
with British purchases of war material so as not to interfere 
with their purchases. 

Above all, we can and must refuse to send anything to 
Japan which could be used by her to strengthen her war 
machine. For Japan, though not actually at war, is none- 
theless truly an effective part of the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo 
alliance of dictatorships, and is only awaiting a propi- 
tious time to seize the Dutch East Indies and the Straits 
Settlements which are important sources for war material 
for England, especially oil and tin. Besides that, she is 
engaged in a brutal and unprovoked attack on China. If 
she should conquer China and get control of China's vast 
resources and gigantic manpower, she would be able to 

build battleships and all sorts ot military equipment faster 

than we can do. 




060365903 



We Must Help to Penalize Aggression 
in Order to Preserve Peace 

Now as to long term policy: — The American govern- 
ment should participate in helping effectively to organize 
the world for peace. To do this we must advocate that the 
United States government should announce in advance that 
it will throw its economic weight into the fight against 
any nation guilty of aggression, through boycotts and em- 
bargoes, and in support of any nations opposing or resisting 
aggression. Thus we will throw our industrial resources 



14 



into the task of preventing aggression at no military risk 
to ourselves, only at ihe risk of loss to "our" capitalist 
exporters and importers, who wjll oppose any such move 
just as they were opposed to the last to an embargo on war 
materials to Japan. 

The contrary policy, which was embodied in the Neutrality 
Law before it was modified at President Roosevelt's in- 
sistence, and which is advocated today by such advocates 
of appeasement and apologists for Hitler as Lindbergh and 
Father Coughlin, means announcing in advance that the 
United States government will make no distinction between 
aggressors and the victims of aggression, but will trade 
equally with both. Such a policy is a direct invitation to 
iorceful military aggression. For it declares to all the world 
that no matter how unjustifiable and brutal one country 
may be in an attack upon its neighbors, it will receive the 
same economic treatment from us, with the same rights 
to trade and commerce, as we accord to its victims. That 
policy is criminally wrong, and utterly contrary to the 
solidarity of the working class for which the trade union 
movement m every country stands. That policy cannot be 
justified by pointing out that the nation which is the victim 
of aggression is not perfect, either because in the past it 
has itself been guilty of aggression, or because it is not a 
perfect state from a labor point of view. It is present and 
future aggression which we must seek to penalize, not 
past aggression, and it is peace among existing states, 
not among perfect cooperative commonwealths of the 
future, which we must put forth effort to achieve. 

The Struggle Against Fascism is 
World-wide 

Our struggle to preserve democracy, build the labor 
movement, and finally achieve the cooperative common- 
wealth of labor is a world-wide one and cannot easily 
be separated into nationalistic compartments. We cannot 
build democracy, strengthen the labor movement, and 
wm the just and democratic aims of labor in America while 
remaining indifferent to, and without any policy for im- 
mediate and effective opposition to, the destruction by 
Fascism abroad of political democracy, the labor move- 
ment, and all hope to achieve a better social order by 
peaceful means. In the long run, we cannot hope to keep 
America out of war while gangster dictators successfully 
wage war upon their weaker neighbors in other parts of 
the world. 

On the contrary, the repeated successful and unchecked 
acts of aggression by Hitler stimulate our domestic Fascist 
movements greatly. The Nazi successes dazzle those who 
worship success. Liberals and labor men have bitter cause 
to know how the glamor of the alleged success of the 
Russian Revolution stimulated Communism here. The same 
thing applies to the successful aggression of Hitler's 
Fascism. 

Nazi pamphlets furnish arguments and "facts" for Father 
Coughlin. Nazi money helps certain domestic Fascist or- 
ganizations to spread their propaganda here, and without 
such funds from Hitler many of them would undoubtedly 
disappear, Nazi success in aggressive warfare dazzles the 



15 



weakminded. To preserve democracy here we must vigor- 
ously oppose its destruction elsewhere. This we can best 
do by economic aid to those now fighting Fascism, coupled 
with government economic pressure upon Fascist countries, 
especially those like Germany, Italy and Japan whose 
governments are now engaged in war-like aggression upon 
theiT neighbors. 



Alfred Baker Lewis, 8 West 40th St . 
New York City, is a member of Local 
5. American Federation of Teachers, 
affiliated with the A F. of L., an honor- 
ary member of the Transport Service 
Employees' Union and an honorary 
member of the United Shoe Workers, 
C I O 



April, 1941 



16